August 02, (THEWILL) – Stakeholders in the nation’s aviation industry have advised on the need for good policy implementation, if the sector will improve from what it is now to an enviable heights.
Speaking at the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) Conference held recently in Lagos, most of the stakeholders, opined that policy implementation is critical to the growth of the industry.
Commenting on policies as it affects the industry, Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, emphasised that policy implementation is critical to the development of the industry.
Senator Adeyemi at the conference with the theme: “Nigeria’s Aviation Industry: Management, Policy and Regulation”, said that, when we talk about policy implementation, we would be looking at it from different perspectives; one is the National Assembly on one hand and the policy of the government on the other.
Adeyemi also stated that, they still still have about six Bills pending in the National Assembly, seeking the amendment of some of the regulations governing the industry.
“Aviation is not a sector that you leave for a year without looking at the enabling laws. Over the years, aviation laws have not been revisited, so we have a situation where you have conflict between the standard of parties, when you talk about the standard of parties, you talk about the kind and sophistication of planes that we have now. They are all interwoven, so, if you don’t have enabling laws that would meet the standard of the modern day industry, then you will have the problem we are having now. However, the moment we get the six Bills passed into law, there would be a new approach to management and oversight”.
Also speaking, House Committee Chairman on Aviation, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji suggested that the success of any industry is management, stressing that f you have the right people in management, it is going to go a long way in achieving good results.
“Also, once you have committed people especially like we who are in the legislative arm, we are committed to what is happening in the executive. It’s not that we are trying to police the executive, we are not the type that would want to boss the agencies around because we feel that we have the power to do so, it’s just that we are committed to the safety of the industry. Our duty in the House of Representatives is to support the industry”.
On COVID-19 Bailout given to the aviation industry, Nnaji stated that, the government didn’t do much in terms of bailout for the airlines.
According to Nnaji, the cost of the engine of a Boeing is close to $10 million and what the government provided for all the airlines is about N4 billion, so, when tou compare what our airlines got to other countries, you will find out that they didn’t do much for the industry. The aviation industry is a very expensive business and most people do not break even. What they just succeed in doing is to just keep the business going because everything about the industry is offshore and that is a challenge”.
“We have succeeded in getting zero duties for the airlines for the purchase of spare parts. Another issue that they are battling with is the issue of forex. Since they buy most of their stuff abroad, it is important that they have access to forex. The planes need to be in the sky all the time because the more you move, the more money you make so that you can pay your bills. We would want the Central Bank of Nigeria to create a window for Forex because it will help reduce the airfare”, he added.
In his remark, Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt Rabiu Yadudu stated that all policies that have to do with FAAN have been with FAAN for a long time and the implementation is always ongoing
Commenting on policies as it affects airlines and aviation in general, Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt Hamisu Rabiu Yadudu stated that all policies that have to do with FAAN have been with FAAN for a long time and the implementation is always ongoing.
Capt Yadudu pointed out that, once policies are drafted and approved, they are joined with existing ones and all implemented.
He said FAAN has been in operation for over 40 years and that the Authority does not have any policy outstanding.
“There are the new ones. Some are with the NCAA, some are industry standard recommended practices. So, we are always in the process of implementation”, He said.
Yadudu made it known that there hardly any policy that is in conflict with operators,noting that it is a question of understanding.
“The policies and implementation are all the same, it is interpretation that may be different. Usually, it is that interpretation, but you will find that you will all arrive at the same decision (if the interpretation is right). The same intention is being serviced. But if you have the wrong interpretation, then we have to agree when the regulator tells you that your interpretation is wrong. It will always go the way of the regulator”.
In the same vein, Managing Director of Finchglow Group, Bankole Bernard said that policy implementation is something that has to be on a continuous basis, noting that over the years, many policies have been formed but how well have they been implemented?
Emphasising further, Bankole queried “How has it reflected on the industry and lives of the people involved? I think we have to shift focus to the impact over the years. As I sat there, I realised that the Act that governs NCAT was enacted in 1964, whereas all others had been reviewed lately” .
“How come the one that affects industry personnel has been abandoned for decades? It shows that we pay very little attention to the workforce in the industry and that explains why we more often export that aspect of the aviation business. We need to go back to the drawing board and make sure that the personnel are well trained”.
“As at today, we only have 20 accredited training organisations in Nigeria, to serve a population of over 200 million people. It is not that people are not interested, but there are no enabling laws to attract investors into this critical aspect of the aviation industry. I think we need to pay more attention to issues that affect human factors in the industry”, Bankole added.